Aikido is a martial art founded by Morihei Ueshiba (1883 – 1969), also called, O-Sensei, “the great teacher”. The Founder developed and demonstrated a way of martial training to achieve harmony and peace that could reach beyond the dojo and potentially to the world through the practice of his redefined martial art.
Aikido offers a way to enhance personal growth and compassion through the practice of techniques that teach how to remain safe while under an attack and by taking a winning position to end or prevent conflict. Our goal is to understand O-Sensei’s paradigm that “aikido is love” and apply it by carefully analyzing our actions and marital practice.
The essence of our approach integrates the effectiveness of Japanese sword and staff movements, using bokken and jo (wooden sword and staff), respectively, as instruments to complement and enhance understanding the flow of empty-hand movements. Also, as part of the training, students are introduced to Aiki Toho Iaido, a form of iaido developed from aikido techniques by Shoji Nishio Shihan (1927–2005).
The strategies drawn from iaido transfer to the empty-hand techniques; the sword movements are transformed into techniques that enhance concentration and awareness.
While learning effective self-defense techniques is a major part of Aikido training, it is not the primary goal. A more immediate goal is training mentally and physically to gain the confidence to prevent and avoid conflicts. This was expressed by O-Sensei in his lectures, poems and calligraphy and demonstrated in his techniques and echoed by Nishio-Sensei in his approach.
With practice, the potential of this art becomes clearer and less mystical as one begins to realize that O-Sensei’s path of Aikido is a continuing work in progress on a path of transformation.
Interested? Drop by and observe a class. Previous martial arts experience is not required– we welcome new members, and are happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact Tom Scheir at email@example.com.
Minoru J. Shibata, 7th dan, is the club’s Chief Instructor, and has been studying Aikido for more than 40 years. In addition, he has earned a 6th dan in Aiki Toho Iai.
On April 26, 1977, “the way of harmonizing with the energy of the universe,” became a part of the VJCC with the formation of the Venice Aikido Club. The goal of Aikido training is to practice the philosophy and high spiritual values that Morihei Ueshiba (O-Sensei), founder of Aikido, has passed down, and integrate them into one’s life for the benefit of the community and society. In addition to regular Aikido training, the club participates in seminar sponsorship and supports many VJCC activities.
Tad Suzuki originally sponsored the club’s formation. Dale Ito, Hideo Noguchi, and Alan Matsuzaki were the founding VJCC supporters. Minoru Shibata, Lucy Ito, and Don O’Bell were among the founding members and instructors.
The Venice Aikido Club is an independent organization, however, it has always maintained an affiliation with significant organizations for mentorship and rank registration. In 1986, the club joined the Shoji Nishio organization and became a founding member of Aikido Sei Shin Kai, USA, which is affiliated with the Aikikai Foundation in Japan. The Venice Aikido Club hosted the second International Nishio Aikido and Aikido Toho (Iaido) seminar in September 1995. The club is now directly affiliated with the Aikikai Foundation.